Alex Freeland is becoming a top Dodgers prospect

(Via @TulsaDrillers)

Alex Freeland has completely overhauled his prospect value in a matter of months.

Entering the season, Freeland did not rank highly on most top Dodgers prospect lists. FanGraphs ranked him at No. 42, I ranked him at No. 36, and MLB Pipeline left him off their Top 30.

Even so, Freeland leads the organization in wRC+ (weighted runs created plus, an all-encapsulating batting metric where 100 is average) by a wide margin, posting a 186 clip between High-A and Double-A. His wRC+ stands out not only within the system, but it also ranks sixth-best among all full-season minor-league players.

It is already evident that Freeland will be flying up prospect lists in midseason updates. He has quickly put himself among the most valuable prospects in the organization. So, how did he get here?


Freeland attended Mariner High School in Cape Coral, Florida, where he had a .445 OBP in his 92 high school games. Part of the 2020 graduating class impacted by the pandemic, he batted .429 in his shortened senior season.

Highly recruited, Freeland stayed within his home state for college and attended Central Florida. He started 60 of UCF’s 61 games as a freshman, slashing .288/.402/.429. His numbers were even better as a sophomore, posting a .282/.419/.570 line with 11 homers and becoming a top MLB Draft prospect.

The Dodgers drafted Freeland in the third round of the 2022 draft, sending him straight to Single-A in his age-20 season. After just eight games there, he was elevated to High-A in 2023 to begin his first full professional season.

Freeland was the everyday shortstop in Great Lakes, putting up a solid campaign despite offensive numbers that did not jump off the page. He slashed .240/.345/.362 with nine homers in 106 games. For playing his first full year in pro ball within the pitcher-friendly Midwest League, Freeland held his own.

Those numbers by themselves barely hinted at what was to come.


After the organizational depth chart in the infield got a bit crowded during Spring Training, Freeland was sent back to High-A to begin 2024. He quickly showed that he was ready to move up the ladder, posting an absurd .346/.518/.593 slash line across his first 23 games this season. That was enough for a Double-A promotion, where he has continued to mash.

Since arriving in Tulsa in early May, Freeland has reached base at a .438 clip. His superb on-base ability is made possible by his above-average hit tool that is paired with excellent plate discipline. Freeland has walked at a 18.6% clip this season, which is third highest in the system.

In his 53 total games between High-A and Double-A, Freeland’s overall line is .317/.474/.550 with seven homers and more walks than strikeouts. His offensive numbers have been nothing short of excellent, and for most prospects who hit that well, their bat is the far-and-away leader of their profile. However, this is not the case with Freeland, who is an excellent shortstop as well.

Prospect Profile

Freeland is the complete package. The switch-hitting 22-year-old has proven that he is capable of producing offensively in the upper minor leagues. However, heading into the year, he was mostly viewed as a glove-over-bat prospect, possessing defensive abilities that should allow him to stick up the middle.

Although he is not a burner in terms of pure foot speed, Freeland has fantastic baseball instincts and quickness that show through all over the field. He covers a lot of ground while flashing the leather at shortstop and he is one of the bigger stolen base threats in the organization. He has stolen 48 bases so far in his minor league career.

When examining Freeland as a player, especially this season, it is hard to find a hole in his game. He’s batting .317, he’s not striking out much, he’s walking a ton, he’s slugging the ball, he’s stealing bases, and he’s playing good defense at the most valuable spot in the infield.

Freeland’s excellent plate discipline inspires confidence in his future. Even as it is unlikely he’ll hit for average this well at the Major League level, he will continue to walk at a high rate to make up the difference. It is rare for a hitter to commonly work deep in counts and draw many walks without battling with strikeouts, which is a testament to Freeland’s bat-to-ball skills.


Shortstop has been a fairly light position in the Dodgers farm for years and Freeland has arguably made himself the best shortstop prospect in the system. He has made himself known on the top prospect radar in a hurry while showing signs of a productive MLB career in the future.

There are multiple ways that Freeland could end up as a valuable Major League player. First, the best route would be for him to continue slugging all the way to the show and become an everyday shortstop. That is very difficult to do, but it is certainly possible for Freeland with the production he’s shown this year. But even if his numbers begin to regress, Freeland could end up as a utility infielder capable of playing shortstop, second base and third base. His on-base ability would make him a nice depth addition to a lineup in this role, where he would be allowed to play good defense around the infield and reach base at a solid clip.

Either way, Freeland has set himself on track to reach the Dodgers sooner rather than later. With Mookie Betts currently playing shortstop in Los Angeles, the long-term future of the position may be up for grabs. Freeland could be in the mix to win the job as soon as next season.

About Bruce Kuntz

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I'm a Long Beach State journalism student and I've been writing about the Dodgers and their farm system since I was in high school.